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DI Council refers basketball proposals

Multiple-team event proposals to inform oversight committees’ discussions

Any changes to Division I basketball programs’ participation in multiple-team events will wait at least a year.

During its meeting Wednesday at the NCAA Convention in Orlando, Florida, the Division I Council referred two membership proposals addressing participation in multiple-team events in basketball to the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and the Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, which have already been examining the issue. The decision means no new legislation related to those events will be voted on this year, but will wait until the basketball oversight committees complete their development of a new legislative proposal.

Multiple-team event legislation timeline

The Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee are developing new legislation to address the qualifications for participating in multiple-team events during the regular season. Below is an approximate timeline for how that legislation will be developed:

January 2019: The committees continued their discussion of the multiple-team event legislation during their meetings at the NCAA Convention. Afterward, the Division I Council referred two proposals from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference that addressed aspects of the issue to inform the concepts being developed by the basketball oversight committees.

April-June 2019: The Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees will collect feedback from the membership.

June 2019: The Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees will ask the Council to introduce new legislation addressing multiple-team events into the 2019-20 legislative cycle.

April 2020: The earliest date the Council could vote on legislation proposed by the oversight committees.  

Aug. 1, 2020: The earliest date the legislation could become effective.

In the meantime, the current legislation will remain in place and new waiver guidelines approved by the Division I Committee for Legislative Relief last week will provide schools guidance for managing any questions or conflicts and submitting applicable waiver requests for the 2019-20 season.

The basketball oversight committees have been developing three concepts that could replace the current multiple-team event legislation. Jeffrey Hathaway, Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee chair and special assistant to the president for athletics at Hofstra, said the committees’ goal is to have a final proposal to present to NCAA members for feedback and comment in the next few months.

“We are greatly appreciative of the feedback we’ve received from institutions, coaches and event operators, which played an important role in helping us formulate those concepts,” Hathaway said. “The Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee looks forward to receiving feedback on the three multiple-team event concepts from the 32 conferences following their spring meetings. This information will provide the committee with the ability to continue its discussions and bring forth proposed legislation.”

The Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee began reviewing multiple-team events in October 2017 as part of its responsibilities overseeing the regular season and evaluating how needs have evolved in the decade since the current multiple-team legislation was adopted. During the 2018-19 regular season, 92 percent of men’s basketball programs participated in a multiple-team event.

Earlier this year, the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee reaffirmed its general support of multiple-team events, noting that it recognized the importance of the events to promote competitive games in the nonconference season and the role they play in informing postseason selections. But to address challenges and changes that have developed in the multiple-team event landscape, the committee began working on concepts to address the maximum limitations and qualifications for taking part in those events.

During its meeting Tuesday, the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee continued to discuss three concepts and will seek formal comment on them from Division I conferences this spring. Once it has gathered feedback, the committee hopes to submit a legislative proposal for the Division I membership to consider during the 2019-2020 legislative cycle. The earliest any change could occur would be for the 2020-21 season.

The concepts the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee discussed would allow teams to:

  • Play either a maximum of 28 regular-season games, plus three additional games as part of a multiple-team event; or 29 games without participation in an event.
  • Play either a maximum of 28 games plus three games as part of a multiple-team event; or 29 games plus two additional games as part of a multiple-team event; or 30 games without participating in an event.
  • Play a maximum of 31 games, which would have to include any games played as part of a multiple-team event.

Ingrid Wicker McCree, athletics director at North Carolina Central and vice chair of the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, said the Council’s decision to refer the membership proposals to both the men’s and women’s committees will help them move toward the development of a final proposal that offers a comprehensive solution.

“Referring these two proposals to the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee will allow us to conduct a thorough review of this legislation to ensure that we develop a legislative solution that is in the best interest of women’s basketball and our student-athletes,” McCree said. “We look forward to the opportunity to conduct this review while working with our colleagues on the Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee and appreciate the support of the Council in this endeavor.”

While both committees continue developing those concepts, the new waiver guidelines and information standards passed by the Division I Committee for Legislative Relief will address any legislative relief waivers submitted for the 2019-20 men’s and women’s basketball seasons. The guidelines provide schools with a means to address issues related to participation in multiple-team events until the legislative solutions can be adopted.

The guidelines, recommended by both the men’s and women’s oversight committees, provide the national office staff direction in addressing waivers submitted by schools impacted by circumstances outside their control that directly affect their men’s or women’s basketball team, including institutional errors made due to misinformation, financial hardship or qualifying conflicts due to conference realignment. The guidelines streamline the waiver process by specifying the information members are required to include, and by helping them prepare for and understand the likely outcome of the waiver in certain scenarios.

The men’s and women’s committees collaborated on those recommended guidelines and information standards in response to the large number of waivers the committees were asked to review this season. Their approval will position schools to make informed decisions on scheduling well in advance of the start of the 2019-20 season.